Jason Atherton opens restaurant in Shanghai
Michelin-starred-chef Jason Atherton has opened his first independent restaurant venture, at the Waterhouse at South Bund hotel in Shanghai.
Table No 1 by Jason Atherton, which opened as a 60-seat restaurant earlier this month in the Singaporean-owned boutique hotel, serves modern European dishes in tapas-sized portions. Starters are about £5.50, while main courses cost between £11 and £16 each and are designed to be shared.
Atherton, who left Gordon Ramsay Holdings at the end of last month, has signed a 10-year deal at the Waterhouse.
He said that while all the food is sourced locally, the style is not Asian in influence. Dishes include razor clams with garlic and chorizo and cauliflower with ras el hanout spicing. "The dishes have quite a natural presentation," Atherton told Caterersearch. "It's not molecular."
Menu items such as spaghetti with pork ragu will be divided up and served at the table in the same way that Chinese waiters would serve a bowl of noodles to several diners. Atherton believes the sharing concept will sit well with Chinese diners. "This is how Chinese food is eaten, many dishes are shared."
"Shanghai is not saturated with Michelin-starred chefs," said Atherton. "It's not like Dubai where you are just another fish in the pond. So I knew that if I was to get involved in a hotel it had to be something cool - I don't want to open a restaurant just for the sake of making money."
He added that Table No 1, which is headed up by former Maze and Maze Grill chef Scott Melvin, had been influenced by his time spent in Spain. In 1998, Atherton became the first British chef to complete a stage at Ferran Adria's three-Michelin-starred El Bulli restaurant. "My time in Spain was a turning point in my career. I love the country and it's important to me to pay homage to it."
Atherton is expected to open a restaurant, rumoured to be called Pollen Street Social Jason Atherton, in Mayfair this autumn. He will be demonstrating at Identita London at Vinopolis on 7 June.
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